@Selutu: I thought maybe it could be one of those "bring you back every day" things, but with it being optional, for one, and maybe giving players a reason to farm without actually having to farm. For instance, maybe the longer you've kept it going the more credits you get from managing it, helping to mitigate the prices of equipment and mechs, but also helping to reduce the need to constantly farm. I think with all the players who complain about farming, it might help in that regard.
In terms of making MQ unique, every game has houses (or in our case, starships), but protecting a colony would make sense, right? Storywise, it'd make sense for the option of military outposts, and based on player effort, could have an actual effect on the story. I mean, Dragonfable has massive player interaction for wars, Treasure Hunts, etc. AQWorlds has their wars and events, thought the events draw more players at once. For another example, Dragonfable's Falconreach has a bank where players donated gold and then voted on town improvements. I just think Mechquest needs something like that, something that can have implications for all aspects of the game, something that doesn't just sit around as an annoying side project.
So, to recap: Farming spot w/possible increase in rewards over time, Story implications based on player efforts in said colonies, forum interaction on a greater scale, and other options. It'd be like a giant playground to test out ways help MQ, in any case.